Friday morning update: Wild doesn't have a morning skate today, so Backstrom injury update will likely have to wait until Mike Yeo's pregame media availability around 5:30 p.m. ET. I am hearing it is a groin injury -- a bad one.
Matt Hackett has been recalled.
The Wild could be without goalie Niklas Backstrom for quite awhile it appears. Backstrom was injured 2:52 into tonight’s game after making a routine right-pad save on an Erik Cole shot.
The shot actually came at 2:43 – 10 seconds after P.K. Subban gave Montreal a 1-0 lead on a 5-on-3 blast.
Backstrom went down immediately writhing in pain, slapped his stick on the ice and then crawled into the crease where he fell face-first. Medical trainer Don Fuller rushed out and eventually got Backstrom to his feet. He was unable to put any pressure on his left leg as he skated to the runway.
Coach Mike Yeo said he knew what the injury is but would only call it a lower-body injury. He didn’t know the extent. But GM Chuck Fletcher told CBC that it was not a short-term thing.
We will hopefully find out Friday in Detroit but obviously Matt Hackett will be summoned to back up Josh Harding.
Yeo did say it’s not a hip issue, which Backstrom has had a history of and a couple operations. I’m fairly certain it’s not a knee. So maybe groin. That’s my best guess the way he went down and the type of pain he seemed to be in.
As for the game, improbable rally out of nowhere late.
Matt Kassian’s second goal of the game (scored his first NHL goal in the first period to cut a 2-0 lead in half on Darroll Powe’s setup) got the rally started. He scored on Nick Johnson’s rebound – one of Johnson’s career-high three assists. The so-called fourth line was tremendous tonight – really the only three guys going all game.
Then, 2:10 later, Dany Heatley scored his 20th goal before Devin Setoguchi tied it up with 9.8 seconds left on Matt Cullen’s pass through the crease from behind the net.
Harding stopped two of three shooters in the shootout, but Cullen, Heatley and Setoguchi couldn’t score. Setoguchi needed to score to extend the shootout to Round 4, but the puck stopped and he fell.
Yeo joked that Kassian was up fourth.
Awful start for the Wild. Stephane Veilleux dropped the gloves with Ryan White 10 seconds in. He said they have no history, but he wanted to try to create momentum.
Then Jed Ortmeyer took a four-minute high-sticking penalty, compounded by Justin Falk’s holding penalty. Subban scored, then the second part of the 5-on-3 began. Seconds later, Backstrom was hurt and Harding had to come in during the 5-on-3. Five seconds after it ended, Lars Eller scored on the 5-on-4.
The Wild’s power play was horrific. It went 0 for 5 against the top PK in the league, including squat on a 3-minute major and 2 abbreviated 5-on-3’s. It allowed three power-play goals to the second-worst power play in the league.
But then the crazy rally to get the one point.
It was a heck of a game actually. Very physical, lots of nastiness and offense. The Wild had a lot of guys struggle the first two periods. Cullen and Setoguchi had real tough nights until the last 10 minutes of the third when everybody started going on the forecheck.
If the Wild would have won, it would have been its first three-goal comeback on the road since 2009 in San Jose.
That’s it for me. Early flight and it’s already after midnight here.
I’ll be in the air in the morning, and I’m not sure the Wild’s having a morning skate. If not, Backstrom update may wait until pregame availability with Yeo. We’ll see.